As the 2017 NBA Draft approaches, it’s difficult to separate the facts from the smokescreens. The Los Angeles Lakers are in the middle of this issue.
Since the Lakers were awarded the second overall pick in the draft, they have been linked to UCLA guard Lonzo Ball. He has been the consensus second best player in the class for much of the pre-draft process and the narrative shapes up nicely for the hometown kid to join the Lakers.
Recently, however, that has come into question. As the Lakers do their due diligence in meeting with and working out other top prospects like Josh Jackson and De’Aaron Fox, some reports have indicated a split within the organization in regards to drafting Ball. Those reports gained steam after reports that Ball did not blow away the team in his workout, something that was likely expected due to his style of play.
That could just be a smokescreen, however. The Lakers must gauge the trade value of their pick, especially if they are not completely sold on any of the top prospects. Most NBA executives seem to think that’s exactly what they’re doing as Scott Howard-Cooper of NBA.com notes:
— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) June 10, 2017
We’re less than two weeks away from the draft so the Lakers’ intentions may be becoming clearer. However, they have not yet worked out Fox or Markelle Fultz (who may not work out for anyone other than the Celtics) and anything could still change in that time.